Commodores shake off early scoring woes, get past Georgia

Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 11:29pm
Staff reports

For a half, Vanderbilt's offense was inept.

Even worse, for nearly 27 minutes, the Southeastern Conference’s leading scorer, John Jenkins, was scoreless.

Jenkins and the rest of the 18th-ranked Commodores made up for their droughts quickly, though, as they rallied from 13 down in the second half and beat Georgia 64-56 on the road Wednesday night in Athens, Ga.

Vanderbilt won its fourth straight as it overcame a dreadful first-half in which it shot 21.6 percent (8-for-37) from the field. Jenkins didn’t score until he hit a 3-pointer with 13:15 left in the game. He finished with 21 points and sparked the Commodores, who ended the game on a 24-3 run and held Georgia (17-8, 6-5 SEC) without a basket from the field for the last 9:49.

“Their defense was so good, it was hard to do anything,” Jenkins said. “I got one good look and that gave me some confidence for the rest of the game.”

Jenkins, who came into the contest averaging 19.8 points, missed his first six shots, including three 3-pointers. He got going late, though, and made six of his last eight shots, including five 3-pointers – the last one tied the game at 55. He followed that with another basket to give Vanderbilt a two-point lead with 2:50 remaining. The Commodores never looked back after that.

“We knew at some point he was going to come in and get hot,” Georgia’s Dustin Ware, who had a team-high 12 points, said. “He’s a great shooter. You’re never going to shut him down completely.”

In addition, Vanderbilt (19-6, 7-4) attacked the boards, outrebounding Georgia 49-32 and scoring 18 second-chance points.

Though Jeffery Taylor (2-of-18 shooting for seven points) and Festus Ezeli (3-of-10 for 10 points) didn’t have the best offensive nights, they grabbed 13 and 12 rebounds, respectively. Ezeli also added a career-high seven blocks. The Commodores also got 11 points from freshman Rod Odom, who got the start over ailing Lance Goulbourne.

“A big focus this week was to finish road games,” Ezeli said. “That was a big part of practice. That is what we came to do and we did it.”

Vanderbilt snapped a two-game losing streak in Athens and are now 3-4 on the road, including a 2-3 mark in SEC games. The Commodores, who are now all alone in second place in the SEC East, hit the road again on Saturday when they play at Auburn.

4 Comments on this post:

By: TITAN1 on 2/17/11 at 5:33

Why is this story on the back page already? The game was just last night. Great road win for Vandy to come form 13 down. Jenkins was awesome the second half and Festus might be the most improved player in the country!
This game was never in doubt, was it frankbrown/richgoose?

By: Bennyhaha on 2/17/11 at 10:04

Hey Titan1, those guys will only appear on days when they can anger Vandy fans, obviously not today, it's called Trolling, please Google "Internet Troll" and dont feed them unless you like listening to them, but They are not here to discuss anything, they are here to make people mad, so today they are probably messing with Georgia fans.

By: dangerlover on 2/17/11 at 10:07

It would be nice to see richgoose admit he was wrong about Vandy though... I was a bit worried when Jenkind couldn't buy a bucket, but Vandy's bench is deep, and they never quit. Great game.

By: 4gold on 2/18/11 at 10:29

VU has been designated 3rd page news in Nashville ever since pro sports arrived. Sad that an SEC team cant get full coverage from the largest home town in the SEC. Go to Oxford its all OM in the paper. Go to Starkville its all MS.ST. Only in Nashville does the local team get Dissed. This being said City Paper does a better job the the other local paper.

Go Dores, Preds, Titans! Go Nashville a great place to live!